Are you ready to weed? Ask me and I’ll tell you exactly how I feel about weeding. Am I ready to weed? In a word, No. Weeding ranks low with most gardeners. Speaking for everyone, we tend to like to prune, plant, even water; but weed? Nah. Weeding ranks low, as low as the weeds go.
Some weeds are thought of with more disdain than others. My personal weed to loath is nutsedge. The devil himself holds it back from being pulled successfully. And it likes to procreate. First there is one, then another and another and another. Nothing kills it, organic or otherwise. It matches the color of grass, kind of, so it would be OK in the grass except, it grows at twice the rate.
As I read Roy Dick’s book Rhapsody in Green The garden wit and wisdom of Beverley Nichols, I learn the source of the original quote “A weed is a flower in the wrong place.” It was written by the then director of Kew Gardens, Sir Edward Salisbury. In the case of nutsedge, I’ve considered, but can’t conceive, any place it would be acceptable in Helen’s Haven. Yet, there she grows.
In the spirit of the quote, I’m assuming Sir Salisbury must have been referring to flowers scattered about by wind and wildlife. True for cowslip, but not nutsedge.
The best defense for weeds is prevention. The obvious is mulching to keep the light from germinating the weed seed. Weed seed can lie dormant until light strikes. As such, turning a new garden bed raises weed seeds to the surface resulting in germination. It is helpful to be patient and prepared when building of a new bed. After the ground is turned, wait for the seeds to germinate. Then hoe them down, plant, and top dress with mulch.
As a child, I don’t remember there being so many different weeds around. We had Bermuda growing in our Centipede. If we had a Bermuda lawn, the Centipede would have been the weed. We also had to contend with wild onions. Now I deal with spurges, henbit, chickweed, and anything else that isn’t suppose to be there including bee balm in Helen Haven’s Woodland Gardens. The Bee Balm is supposed to stay in the Mixed Border with an occasional visit to the Crinum Bed.
Weed we must. A little weeding with each visit to the garden keeps this garden task manageable.
Gardening With Confidence